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Friday, 4 September 2015


Christopher Columbus landed on Jamaica on May 5, 1494 and claimed it for Spain. The adventurer named the island St Iago (St James).

On a later voyage, Columbus, in an effort to induce the natives of Jamaica to continue provisioning him and his hungry men, successfully intimidated the natives by correctly predicting a total lunar eclipse for February 29, 1504.

C. Colomb's Eclipse. Caption: "Fig. 86. — L'├ęclipse de lune de Christophe Colomb."

The indigenous Arawak people called the island Xaymaca (meaning Land of Wood and Water, or Land of Springs) from which the name Jamaica derives.

The other main indigenous people were the Tainos, whom the Spaniards enslaved. They had all died out by the time the British arrived in 1655.

The Taino language has given us the words cassava, maize, papaya and savannah.

Upon assuming control over England, Oliver Cromwell sent out the Royal Navy to capture territory from Spain in the Caribbean. The British invasion of Jamaica began on May 19, 1655. The English expedition was easily able to capture Jamaica from the Spanish because the island had no fortifications. It was a very important territorial gain for the English as it gave them a prime staging ground to launch privateering raids at the Spanish. They ruled the island for the following 300 years.

The mongoose was imported to Jamaica to rid the cane fields of rats in 1872. The mongooses have also eaten almost all the snakes is Jamaica.

When the Second World War war ended, James Bond author Ian Fleming retired to Jamaica where he built a house called "Goldeneye."

Jamaica won twelve medals at the London Olympics in 2012 which works out at one medal per 225,485 of the population. The only country to do better than Jamaica in terms of medals per head was Grenada, but they won only one medal.

Jamaica and Mauritania are the only countries whose flags have no red, white or blue in them.

Jamaica has the most churches per square mile of any country in the world.

Source Daily Express

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